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Chickens & goats are complementary in barn and kitchen: milk and eggs - two nearly perfect foods.

It is amazing how you can combine two nearly perfect foods - milk and eggs - and make so many really tasty products. Custard, eggnog, strada and ice cream, just to name a few, are the mixing of these two foods plus a little of this and that. These foods are so nutritious, they are not only highly recommended by most dietitians, but they are also included in most vegetarian diets. So, why not consider growing your own?

Chickens complement goats in many ways. Goats waste a lot of grain, which chickens can turn into eggs. Many times whole kernel corn and whole oats pass through goats unchanged. Chickens will scratch the edible grain out of the nanny berries. This process also helps compost goat waste.

Goats also waste grain while eating. "They often get a mouth full of grain, then raise their heads to look around and spill half of it onto the ground. (We should teach them to chew with their lips closed.) Kid goats are even worse about wasting grain. Kids start eating, then they get the bright idea to use their feed pail as a step up. They put their dirty feet in the pail and step up to look around. Once manure has touched the grain, all self-respecting goats refuse to eat it. But chickens will eat anything. So instead of wasting your goat feed, you can feed it to the chickens which turn it into eggs.

For those goat owners who hate to waste milk, chickens are the answer. Instead of giving it to the cats and dogs, why not feed it to a few chickens? They will thank you by increasing their egg production. Chickens will also eat cheesemaking failures and whey. Why waste milk when it can easily be turned into eggs?

The only disadvantage to keeping a few chickens is spoiled water. Once the chickens perch on the water pad, the goats insist the water is fouled. But goats learn fast. They drink their water as soon as you provide it. After they have drunk their fill, the goats give the chickens a turn. Goats can easily drink enough water at chore time to last all day.

So, why not have a few chickens? When your flock is small, they don't make a big mess. They can clean up after the goats. They use up excess milk, and they can easily supply you with delicious farm fresh eggs. Also, when your flock starts to multiply, you can have chicken-noodle dinner.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Stelting, Judy
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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